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I have found that communicating with people in extremely precise ways improves the speed at which they can comprehend and respond properly.

Here's an example:

Problem: When you visit McDonald's they won't supply you with any ketchup unless you ask for it. So after they give you your food, you ask "I'd like some ketchup with that". And then they give you 2 packets of ketchup. That's obviously not enough, so you have to ask again "Can I have a few more ketchup packs please". This can go on a few times until I have the actual amount of ketchup I require.

Solution: As soon as they give your food say "Give me 8 ketchup packs, please".

Bam! Problem solved.




Interestingly, I often experience a somewhat opposite effect.

A lot of interactions with clerks are template-based, i.e., they follow the exact same flow every time. In case of McDonald's, the standard interaction for buying a burger may go roughly like this:

    Customer: A big mac, please.
    Clerk: Would you like some french fries with that?
    Customer: No, thank you.
    Clerk: Would you like a soft drink with your burger?
    Customer: No, thank you.
    Clerk: For here or to go?
    Customer: To go, please.
However, I found that I can't shortcut this conversation even if I give all the required information right at the beginning, which annoys me quite a bit. The interaction would then go something like this:

    Customer: A big mac, please, no french fries or drink, to go.
    Clerk: Would you like some french fries with that?
    Customer: *sigh* - No, thank you.
    Clerk: Would you like a soft drink with your burger?
    Customer: No, thank you.
    Clerk: For here or to go?
    Customer: To go, please.
Too bad, the clerk process insists on reading all information from stdin instead of using the provided command line parameters.

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It's a protocol, just like TCP/IP. Your extraneous information in the header was just discarded. :-)

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It's because they are obliged to ask these questions anyway, because someone has an idea that it'd maximize the sales.

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Eating in McDonalds is like using TXT files to mimic a database. No matter how much ketchup you throw at it, it will make you sick and sorry.

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McDonalds has never made me sick. Just sayin'.

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